I am not for war, but is it sometimes necessary? Ask Americans why we are at war and you will get different answers.
We provide healthcare for other countries when thousands of Americans can't afford insurance. We put our troops in danger for another country's "freedom". We have alliances that make enemies of other countries. We supply and support Israel. All for what? How exactly does this benefit America?
Should we continue doing what we have been doing or should we just stay over here and mind our own business? I am eager to see how other atheists view this.
It can't be reduced to a simple binary choice. One could argue that the casus belli was as justified as one can be (history is ripe with far more stupid reasons to go to war), and that the unavoidable deaths of many Afghanis who had no hand in 9/11 was unjust at the same time. Depends on how you look at it, but it's a multifaceted issue and you should definitely look at every facet before forming a judgment. I wish it had never happened, but then again I wish 9/11 never happened, and the events that led bin Laden to 9/11, and so on. It's turtles all the way down.
To be clear, Afghanistan didn't attack us, nor did a significant percent of Afghans even wish it upon us. They're pawns themselves, to the Taliban and by extension Al Qaeda. I would even argue that Pakistan is more responsible for empowering radical behavior.
That said, I thought it was right for us to try to dis-empower radicals in Afghanistan, and going to Iraq was a costly setback, for us, Iraq, and the region. As mentioned earlier, aid and development for the populace should also have been a focus, and less military.
That said, it was largely our fault for being so negligent of third-world countries, and for being so ignorant about how our capitalist oil-dollars empower their oligarchs and despots.
And then there's the cancerous, religious fundamentalist aspect. These issues are not as simple as people on either side like to believe. Humanity is screwed up, and I'll bet an alien race watching us would rather think of us more as an experiment than a species to be judged. (I know that sounds odd. What I'm saying here is that we humans are trying to fix ourselves, but it's not easy. Most importantly, no one should say with confidence that they absolutely know the best or only solution.)
Which is why arguments are important. (And I don't know what to say about Pakistan. Losing Holbrooke was a significant setback, too. I personally believe that he died from the stress of trying to diplomatically make things work for us.)
Holbrooke - said the war was caused from weapons of mass destruction (meaning real weapons- not psychological weapons).
He didn't get it - or maybe he did.